Rockets vs. Jazz Prediction and Odds for Wednesday, October 26 (Utah Earning Too Much Respect for Hot Start)

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) is off to a hot start this season, averaging 21.5 PPG and 8.8 REBs.
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) is off to a hot start this season, averaging 21.5 PPG and 8.8 REBs. / Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

Two preseason projected lottery teams play the second leg of their home-and-away series in Salt Lake City this evening when the Utah Jazz host the Houston Rockets.

The Jazz defeated three of the best teams in the NBA to start their year, blowing out the Denver Nuggets at home, followed by two straight road wins vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans in overtime. Ironically enough, their first loss of the season came against these Houston Rockets in a 114-108 road loss on Monday.

Now that they're back home, which Utah team should bettors expect to see?

Here are the latest odds for tonight's Western Conference matchup:

Rockets vs. Jazz Odds, Spread and Total

Rockets vs. Jazz Prediction and Pick

There's still a few books that have the Rockets at +8 despite the consensus number down to +7.5. If you can find it, I don't mind the play on the underdog at that high of a number against another team that should start to regress toward the mean.

However, the bet I prefer for this matchup is on the props side with Jazz forward Jarred Vanderbilt to go over 8.5 points against the Rockets.

The 23-year old has looked excellent since coming over from the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging just under 26 minutes a game in the starting rotation, with career highs in points (9.8) and rebounds (10.3) per game.

In his last two games, the points have been way up, going for 15 vs. New Orleans on Sunday and followed it up with 13 against the Rockets in a back-to-back on Monday evening.

Houston as a team ranks bottom-five in the NBA in defensive rating, and rank fourth-worst in the league in opponent points in the paint. That's where Vanderbilt lives, shooting 61.5% from field goal range, taking only four three pointers all season.

Oddsmakers haven't taken notice of Vanderbilt's success as a bucket-getter inside, so take advantage of the small line while you still can.

Follow all of Ben's betting plays in real-time HERE!

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.